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The Effect of an Educational Intervention on Promoting Breast Self-Examination in Older African American and Caucasian Women

Robin Y. Wood
Mary E. Duffy
Selma J. Morris
Jennifer E. Carnes
ONF 2002, 29(7), 1081-1090 DOI: 10.1188/02.ONF.1081-1090

Purpose/Objectives: To test the efficacy of innovative, age- and race-sensitive, self-monitored, video breast health kits in increasing knowledge about breast cancer risk and screening and breast self-examination (BSE) proficiency.

Design: Quasi-experimental pretest and post-test design.

Setting: Dual-site study in community-based settings in the Northeast and Southeast United States.

Sample: 328 women (206 in the intervention group, 122 in the control group) aged 60 or older; predominantly African American (77%); mean education of 10.8 years; annual income below $10, 000 (50%).

Methods: Individual pretest and post-test interviews conducted by nurses at two-week intervals assessed knowledge about breast cancer risk and screening and BSE proficiency as demonstrated on vested breast models. Intervention subjects used video breast health kits in ethnic editions designed for the study. Control subjects received educational pamphlets.

Main Research Variables: Dependent variables were knowledge about breast health and BSE proficiency measured by demonstration of inspection and palpation skills and detection of lumps in a simulation model.

Findings: Three multiple analyses of covariance revealed statistically significant differences in outcome variables between the intervention and control groups.

Conclusions: The intervention was effective in increasing knowledge about breast cancer risk and screening and BSE proficiency in this sample of older women.

Implications for Nursing: These and other educational interventions designed specifically for age and race sensitivity may enhance cancer screening with vulnerable populations. Future studies with more diverse multicultural groups are needed to improve understanding of how to best influence breast health behaviors of older women.

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